Smarter Switch - VideoThursday 26th March 2015
Smart switches for controlling your lights are a great idea. They are convenient, being able to switch off a light remotely is a good feature or switching on lights as you arrive outside your home also a plus. Controlling lighting so that empty rooms are not lit and wasting energy has got to be the biggest plus, particularly schedulling when lights come on. The main problem is installation of the system available is a major headache.
That is about to change thanks to Switchmate, a hardware startup striving to simplify the home automation space, who have achieved the crowd funding goal of $50,000 through Indiegogo campaign for their simple light automation solution. Unlike other smart lights, Switchmate requires no complicated rewiring or installation – it’s a sleek, minimalist lighting attachment that magnetically snaps on to any standard light switch, enabling users to control the switch via the Switchmate companion app.
"Smart products are supposed to make our lives simpler, but their set-up alone is often needlessly complicated," said Switchmate founder Daniel Peng. "And for those of us who don't own property, those installation processes aren't just complicated, they're impossible. Switchmate is accessible for everyone – renters, home-owners, students, nomads – anyone that wants the convenience of a connected home without the hassle of connecting it.”
The Switchmate seems well designed with a clean white faceplate and a single push-button, Switchmate can affix to any standard toggle or rocker light switch, and uses Bluetooth Low Energy technology to enable users to control the switch via the Switchmate companion app. Users can turn their switches on and off at will, or schedule their lights to turn on and off at pre-set times. A Switchmate-empowered light switch can also be turned on and off manually, to avoid dependency on a given mobile device.
Switchmate was founded by three Johns Hopkins engineers who found most home automation solutions to be needlessly complicated - they strove to create smart products that are simple to install and use. In lieu of convoluted circuitry, Switchmate has a clean white faceplate and a motor with two settings: on, and off. Since Switchmate does not require rewiring, it works for homeowners and renters alike.
The smart light switch is controlled via a companion app (available for Android and iOS). Users can register each Switchmate and control it from their smartphones. The app can also flip switches on or off at pre-set times, so users can schedule their lighting around their lives.
Thursday 26th March 2015